Tuesday, December 16, 2014

It's Christmas! Slow Down!!

The Christmas season can easily get too busy.  How do we take time to reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ when our calendar is packed tight with events and outings?

Some church's calendar of events for December are about to burst due to overload.  (If you don’t have margin in your calendar you are headed to a  crash and burn)

When thinking about December and calendar scheduling think about:
  • Family Time - how does adding more events to the calendar have on impact family time?
  • Your Own Family - in many church settings the YP is expected to be at every church function, even the ones that have nothing to do with youth ministry.  How will this have an impact your own family time?  Do you have boundaries? 
  • Christmas Parties - most parents work and many of them will have company Christmas get togethers during December.  When we add more to the calendar we make them even busier. 
  • Less is More - it doesn’t take 4 Christmas programs to help the church reflect on the birth of Christ. 
  • Go tell it on the Mountain - what if you could scratch all the Church Christmas functions off the calendar and plan just one that would reach the community with the gospel?  What would you do?
  • Entertainment - we don’t need more of it.  Turn on the TV every night in December and you can find plenty of good Christmas music and concerts.  Turn on ABC Family and you can watch Elf 50 times in one month. 
  • Leverage - how can you leverage the season by doing something totally different, unusual, out of the norm with your normal youth group gathering closest to Christmas Day?
  • Contribute don’t Consume - it seems like a church can quickly get the consumer mentality around Christmas.  What if your church flipped it around and thought only about spreading the gospel at Christmas rather than that concert or the hand bell choir recital?
  • Have Fun - make some goodies and package them up and deliver them to the neighbors, the fire department, etc.
  • Change a Life - instead of running around buying gifts for everyone in your family and extended family give a gift  to Compassion International or World Vision and change someone’s life.  Help people stuck in poverty have clean drinking water or a goat or chickens.  Most everyone in your life has what they NEED, buy for someone who has nothing. 
  • Make the World Mad - post a negative article or negative FB status update about Elf on the Shelf.  Just joking!  But really, people get rsuper defensive about this Elf on the Shelf thing.

Busyness adds stress.  Who wants to be stressed at Christmas time?  Not me. Everyone is busy in December, this is a great time to slow it down in youth ministry.  Let families enjoy time together. Our gift to the youth ministry volunteers is a night off the last Sunday in December.

So sit back, relax, enjoy the season of reflecting on the birth of our Savior.

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